I've had my pool for four years and I've never closed or covered it. The guy who installed my pool recommended I not spend the money on one. When the pool and all associated equipment is brand new, it seems like good advice because it's so easy to keep everything clean. However, as time goes on and parts wear, it becomes much more difficult. I'm running the pump during the winter almost constantly to try keep things clear, which I estimate is costing me about $100/month. With about eight non-swimming months in VA, the savings from not having to run the pump would quickly pay for the cover. Does anyone see any flaws in my logic?
Now, I will admit, I have not been properly maintaining my pool. I didn't realize the importance of keeping balanced water. We have a SWG and I actually thought it took care of all of that. Now that I found this site and have learned how to maintain balanced water, it may result in an overall reduced necessity for the pump. But even then, it still seems like I'd save quite a bit of money over the long haul by closing the pool. Plus, I really like the thought of being able to completely forget about maintaining the pool for eight straight months.
So, in my state of Virginia, is it better to close the pool and cover it or leave it open all winter?
If it's better to cover, what's the best type of cover? I don't have a lip around my pool, the concrete is flush with the edges of the pool, so I'm not sure how the lose fitting covers that use water bags would work.
As far as the tight fitting type of covers that use the anchors that are drilled into concrete, are they really as easy to install as the manufacturer claims?
I appreciate any advice. I think a cover is the best thing, but I just want to make sure I'm investing my money as wisely as possible.